INGALLS, RUFUS
Chief Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac. Ingalls was born in the village of Denmark what is now Maine (at the time, it was a part of Massachusetts). His father Cyrus was a prominent local mill owner and politician who was among those at the Maine constitutional convention in 1819. Through his father's political connections, Rufus Ingalls was appointed to the United States Military Academy, graduating in the Class of 1843, which included his friend Ulysses S. Grant. Ingalls was breveted as a Second Lieutenant and assigned to garrison duty in the western frontier.

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Rufus Ingals Letter Discussing Preparations For The Peninsula Campaign

 INGALLS, RUFUS
“I only fear there will be too many concerned in it to enable you and Genl. McClellan to fix the responsibility in the right individuals. The plan sent by you should be effectually executed, else there will be delays and complaints...” ALS. 2 pages. 8” x 10”. Annapolis Md. March 4th, 1862. To General M.C. Meigs. Qr. Mr. Genl. U.S. Army, Washington D.C. “The small Propellers “Reindeer” and “volunteer” chartered in Phila arrived here from Washington yesterday. They are small and of very light draft and have not even water on board. They are chartered at $60 per day. Two Schooners also arrived from Tyler, Stone & Co. Phila with 317 tons coal ordered here by Capt. Hodges.” “I have ordered the Propellers to take our coal for 12 or 15 days and also provide water for 500 men between them for 10 days.” “Capt. Hodges writes that the Steamers will not leave New York until Thursday. I do not believe they will leave there sooner than Monday next. He has sent me lists of 24 Barges, 72 Schooners, 52 Propellers and 90 side – wheel Steamers already engaged. Some of them are the Sound boats that will answer our purpose better than any other kind. Capt. Hodges no doubt will do all in his power to cooperate with us in the preparation of this expedition, but it will be an advisable measure to restrict the business to as few persons possible. I only fear there will be too many concerned in it to enable you and Genl. McClellan to fix the responsibility in the right individuals. The plan sent by you should be effectually executed, else there will be delays and complaints. Vessels cannot be fitted out here for so great a fleet. There are no water casks nor tanks. Mr. A.H. Sibley is my agent in New York and Capt. Hodges writes that he is a most efficient and safe man. The supply of forage for depot at Fortress Monroe is shipped and Capt. Hodges is putting on board the transports a sufficient quantity for the voyage. If this be done and provisions and water are also put on board, there need be no delay here. I will keep you fully informed of matters at this point, and trust that all will work well and together.” On February 28, 1862 Lincoln authorized McClellan to procure vessels for his secret invasion of the South, intended to break its backbone and end the war quickly. At the time it was referred to as the “Urbana Expedition”. It later became known as “The Peninsular Campaign.” Just a few days after receiving Lincoln’s authorization, Ingalls here writes to Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs detailing the status of preparations and the procurement of vessels. The massive operation headed south with a flotilla of over 400 vessels transporting more than 100,000 soldiers and equipment for nearly 200 miles to Fort Monroe, Virginia. McClellan operated in such secrecy to the point that even Lincoln was excluded from the planning. The Campaign resulted in a complete disaster and the needless loss of many lives, accomplishing nothing to further the Union War effort. A nice detailed letter which starkly details the military’s lack of ships as they were leasing the vessels for the campaign from private operators. Fine.
Catalog: # AM-1028
Topic: Civil War
Price: $900.00